Israeli police kill Palestinian civilian in cold blood
B’Tselem released a video and details of the apparent murder by Israeli police of Palestinian Ahmad ‘Abdu. ‘Abdu was in his car when he was surrounded and seriously injured during a hail of bullets by Israeli police and soldiers. He was wounded but not dead, but the Israelis would not allow him to get medical help and Israel announced he was killed in the targeted assault
Video footage shows Israeli special police unit carrying out targeted killing of Ahmad ‘Abdu, a Palestinian sitting in his car and endangering no one
In the early morning hours of 25 May 2021, an Israeli Special Police Unit vehicle drove up and blocked a car just after Ahmad ‘Abdu (25) got into it, in the Palestinian town of Um a-Sharayet in the West Bank. Today, B’Tselem published video footage in which officers are seen getting out of the vehicle and immediately firing several shots at the car.
The apparently injured ‘Abdu opens the right door, at which point the officers surround the car, open several of its doors, apparently dragging ‘Abdu out, and then leave without extending him first aid. An Israeli Border Police statement claimed ‘Abdu had been killed as part of an “arrest operation”, but offered no explanation for the lethal shooting.
Opening live fire at a person sitting in his car, without even trying to arrest him, is not an “attempted arrest”. It is a targeted killing.
Click here to view the video of Israeli special Police Unit officers carry out targeted killing of Ahmad ‘Abdu, al-Bireh,25 May 2021 Footage of ‘Abdu’s targeted killing, or use the widget below to view the video.
Several minutes after the police officers drove away, several town residents came over and called an ambulance, which arrived about 15 minutes later and took ‘Abdu to the hospital. He was pronounced dead upon arrival, with gunshot wounds to the left side of his chest and to his legs.
The next day, and for several days after the incident, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) agents called ‘Abdu’s uncle and other relatives and apologized for his killing. At the same time, they demanded that the family turn in Abdu’s uncle, Muhammad Abu ‘Arab, for allegedly shooting at soldiers during a demonstration near the entrance to el-Bireh. The night after ‘Abdu was killed, soldiers arrested four of his cousins and searched the homes of his uncle’s in-laws and their neighbors. They arrested the in-laws’ 17-year-old son and hurled stun grenades into the homes’ courtyards.
The Border Police claimed (Hebrew) that ‘Abdu had been a “terror accomplice” and was killed during an “attempted arrest”. Yet the documented chain of events shows that the officers made no attempt to arrest him, but shot and killed him the moment they stepped out of their vehicle. In its statement, the Border Police did not even argue that ‘Abdu posed any kind of danger to the force, and provided no explanation whatsoever for the lethal shooting. Opening live fire at a person sitting in his car, without even trying to arrest him, is not an “attempted arrest”. It is a targeted killing.
Wahib Majadbah (33), a nurse who lives with his wife and four children in the building across from the spot where ‘Abdu’s car was parked, related what happened immediately after the shooting in a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Iyad Hadad on 25 May 2021:
On Tuesday, 25 May 2021, at around 4:30 A.M., I was asleep along with my wife and four young kids. I was woken by the sound of three gunshots. There may have been more, but I was too drowsy to hear. I looked out the window and saw someone lying to the right of a blue car by the sidewalk. There were three or four soldiers standing around him, and they moved between the car and their vehicle, which was parked behind the blue car and blocking it. I immediately called the Red Crescent and told them someone was injured. The moment I put the phone down and looked back out at the street, I saw the soldiers drive away, leaving the wounded person lying on the ground.
I ran outside immediately. I didn’t recognize the guy, who looked to be in his twenties. He drew his last breaths, exhaled, his lips moved slightly, and then his body went limp. He was bleeding from the shoulder area. I was afraid to move him and check where he’d been hurt, in case I harmed him. I’m a professional nurse and tried to take his pulse, but couldn’t feel one. He seemed to be dying. That was about two minutes after they shot him. Five minutes later, I called the Red Crescent again and told them they were taking too long and had to speed up, because the guy was fighting for his life. About 15 minutes after the shooting, an ambulance arrived and took him to hospital.
The door on the driver’s side was open and I saw four bullet marks on the car. Later, I learned on social media that he was found dead on arrival at hospital.
‘Abdu’s uncle, Ayman Abu ‘Arab (49), was asleep when his nephew was shot outside and only learned what happened in the morning. In a testimony he gave B’Tselem field researcher Iyad Hadad on 26 May 2021, he described what happened next:
At 7:00 A.M., I got a phone call from an ISA agent called Captain Halabi, whom I know because I was arrested by Israel and held in Israeli prisons for more than ten years. He apologized for what happened and I said that I didn’t understand how they could do such a thing and kill an innocent person. He replied that Ahmad had been helping my brother Muhammad and that Muhammad was wanted by Israel. I only later found out that they suspect Muhammad of shooting at soldiers during a demonstration near Beit El. Captain Halabi’s answer annoyed me and I argued with him about Ahmad’s death. He apologized again and demanded that Muhammad turn himself in. I agreed to talk to him, but only once the three days of mourning are over.
My nephew was a young man who had his whole life ahead of him. He was a kind, polite, devout guy who loved people and everyone liked him. Like other guys his age, he dreamed of getting married and starting a family. He was engaged and was supposed to get married this summer, after completing the construction of his apartment in al-Am’ari Refugee Camp.
He was a clerk at the al-Bireh municipality but the pay was too low, so he quit and went to work at a bakery owned by his fiancée’s parents. He was always asking me if I could find him more work, because he wanted to get the apartment done as soon as possible and make all the preparations for the wedding. But Israel destroyed his dream and stole his fiancée’s joy.